CN may be headed for strike

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

MONTREAL, Quebec—Conciliation between Canadian National Railway and its locomotive engineers is set to expire at midnight Saturday night after the union says the railway rejected its request for a 60-day extension.

As a result, the country’s largest railway could be headed to a strike or lockout as of mid-February following a 21-day cooling off period.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says one of the sticking points is the company’s demand to remove all rest provisions.

The union representing about 1,800 CN locomotive engineers says it is concerned the Montreal-based railway may be relying on government intervention and trying to “run the clock out” on talks.

Negotiations started last September ahead of the Jan. 1 expiry of the contract.

The railway said there is ample time to negotiation a new deal.

“Based on constructive discussions to date, CN is optimistic that the company and union will be able to reach a mutually satisfactory collective agreement without the threat labour disruption,” spokesman Mark Hallman wrote in a email.